Pew Research Study Outlines How Americans Feel about Climate Change

A new study, published on Earth Day 2022 by Pew Research, asked more than 10,000 U.S. adults their thoughts on climate change.

Conducted in January, before the Ukraine war, the researchers pointed out the results could vary if it were conducted today, but there is no certainty. *

“While the report indicates that people with different political views and in different age groups have different opinions about climate change, there are points [where] they all agree,” says Steve Ashkin, an advocate in the professional cleaning industry for green cleaning and sustainability. “For instance, nearly 70 percent of all Americans believe we should begin prioritizing the development of alternative, greener energy sources.”

Among some of the other findings in the study were the following:

  • More than 40 percent of those surveyed believe the president and Congress should make addressing climate change a top priority.
  • However, for adults between 18 and 29, 54 percent believe addressing climate change should be a top priority, which is an indicator of where public opinion will be in the near future.
  • Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that human activity contributes at least some to climate change.
  • Forty-six percent believe human activity is contributing a great deal to climate change.
  • More than half of Americans, 56 percent, believe addressing climate change will be good for the environment; however, they are divided on whether it will be good for the U.S. economy.
  • Almost 70 percent of Americans favor the U.S. taking steps to be carbon neutral by 2050. However, on this issue, the Pew researchers said, “there are wide gaps among partisans. Democrats (90 percent) favor the U.S. taking steps to become carbon neutral by 2050, while only 44 percent of Republicans favor it.”

“Unfortunately, the study also found that about half of Americans now believe it is too late to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” adds Ashkin. “But I disagree with this. I believe we can still make a difference. We are on a journey, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

*Methodology: The survey was conducted online the last week of January 2022. More than 10,200 Americans completed the study. The complete study can be found here.

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